Stargazer transplant question

nberg7(z7NC)June 21, 2005

It was love at first sight- I bought an eight inch pot of Stargazers in full bloom at Lowe's a few weeks ago and it looks like there are five separate plants growing in this pot. The last bloom is just about finished- when's a good time to divide/separate them and transplant them to someplace permanent in my yard? Also- full sun/part shade, depth (can you tell this is a new plant for me?) I want to make sure they get a good start before the chill sets in again here in late Fall. Thanks in advance for any helpful advice or anecdotes.


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hld6(z7 MD)

The best time to replant them witll be after the leaves die back and the stem turns brown (sometime in early Fall). You could do it now but if you broke the stems of your bulbs they would not be strengthened this summer and next year you would have a smaller less productive lily plant.

For now just plant the whole thing in the spot that will be their permanent home. If you forget to separate them before it gets too cold to re-plant they'll still come up nice (just a little more snug than ideal), but for the rest of the summer the bulb will get to set some more roots down and get stronger from the leaves' photosynthesis.

My first lilies were Stargazers from Home Depot, (4 pots - each with two stems that I never did get around to spacing apart). Last year was their third year and they were fabulous! (9 or more huge fragrant blooms on each stem). As much as you like yours now wait till they get a couple of years under their belt!


    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 12:31AM
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Helen- you're a garden angel! Thanks for that info, and I'll report back next year when they've strutted their stuff (hopefully!)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 2:48PM
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hld6(z7 MD)

Hi again Nan,
About the Sun/Shade thing. Lilies like to get some sun but they don't need to be in full sun all day (I find an east or west exposure is fine). Their bulbs like the earth to be a little cooler. The saying goes "feet in the shade head in the sun". If the spot you want to plant them in is very sunny you can keep their bulbs cool by mulching or underplanting. Lilies and ferns is a particularly pretty combination. The bulbs should be planted fairly deep (~8"). In addition to keeping the bulbs cool, planting deep allows the stem to send out feeder roots (which feed the bulb and makes the plant less floppy) and helps to keep critters from eating them.

Expect that next year your plants will be a LOT taller. Home Depot lilies are generally short (the nurseries provide conditions that favor short growth so that they will suffer less damage in shipping and during store sales). My Stargazers are ~4' tall. When I bought them they were more like 2.5' tall.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 8:34AM
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I've got the perfect place I "think" using your suggestions. If I can get my Golden Retriever to not eat the blooms next year I'll be a happy camper! For some reason she thinks eating flowers if novelle cuisine... sigh.

I know this forum is going to get me hooked on lilies- I feel a new obsession coming on just from looking at all the photos everyone shares here!

Thanks again Helen!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 9:30PM
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I'm a newbie gardner and I planted my first Stargazers year before last next to the front of the house (Southern exposure) but tucked them behind my boxwoods. The boxwoods keep their feet nice and cool and the tops get plenty of sun.

Talk about thriving! Oh my goodness! They are about 5' tall with oodles of blooms. I would also say that the number of plants have doubled (I planted 6) and I'm in eager anticipation of fall when I can harvest some of those babies for my cottage garden.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 4:00PM
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Hi all:
Thanks for having this forum!
I'm a newbie gardener in NYC. Last year I planted six Stargazers in a large container in my S. facing terrace. This year I would like to transplant them to a new container. I'll bet you are going to tell me to wait until fall, but could I do it now, before they bloom, if I am v-e-r-y careful?
Best to you all,

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 9:01AM
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hld6(z7 MD)

Hi Peter,
Sure, in principle you could, if you were v-e-r-y careful.

If you are just moving them from one container to another (without separating the bulbs) this should work. IF, you are careful.

But, if you are separating the bulbs from each other, no matter how careful you are, some of the roots will break. My Stargazer lilies already have buds on them. This is not the time to make the plant work on growing new roots. The transplant shock could very well damage the buds. And then you'll be waiting all the way til next year to see flowers!

I know, I know, you're impatient like me. But if you are separating the bulbs at least wait until AFTER they bloom, (assuming you can't wait until the foliage dies back).


    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 3:36PM
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Where is a good place to buy Stargazer? Americanmeadows doesn't have them, and if they weren't having that 70% off sale, I wouldn't have been able to buy a dozen of the Regals.

Mine are greening up a little but the ones that came crooked and with longer sprouts are still lying on the mulch. Will they ever straighten up? If not this year, might they grow straight next year? I don't think planting them sideways would have helped, it might have a little. I never knew you could do that.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 4:47PM
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hld6(z7 MD)

Stargazer can be bought almost anywhere. But any bulb at this time would be hard to find. Fortunately Stargazer is one of the orientals you'll find in pots at garden centers. These come out a little later in the summer (right now you'd find mostly Asiatics). Last year our local Lowe's and Home Depot had Stargazer, Muscadet, and Mona Lisa for sale pretty cheaply. Usually Casa Blanca can also be found, if not at a Lowe's then at a local nursery. The potted bulbs tend to be packed in a little tightly and are too mature to separate right away. I just plant the whole pot when I buy them and then separate them in the Fall.

The crooked stems you have will be fine and will eventually turn up. But being planted late they have a lot of growing ahead of them. They'll bloom later than usual this year (my L. Regale is starting to bloom now - yours still think its early spring) but after a winter underground they will go right back to normal for next year.

One thing about Regale (and trumpets in general), they like to "follow the sun" so make sure they will face a direction you like. Along the house this works great since they face out toward the yard. But border gardens need to have full sun (or sun from the "right" direction). I have some on the west border of my yard, whose interior is shaded by a large Beech. My flowers make a nice display for my neighbor but turn their "backs" to me - since they only get afternoon sun.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2006 at 11:32AM
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